Eastleach Martin Parish Church

St. Michael and St. Martin's Church Photos by
John Wilkes of Cam near Dursley, Gloucestershire
The Gloucestershire Photo Library

Page composition by Allan Taylor of Vancouver, Canada

The Church of St. Michael and St. Martin stands by the banks of the River Leach in the parish of Eastleach Martin. The settlement was called 'Lece' at the time of the Domesday Book (the adjacent village of Eastleach Turville on the other side of the Leach being called 'Lecce').
Eastleach Martin was also known as Bouthrop in the 14th Century. The 'throp' element of that name has a Danish derivation. The fair church incorporates the original 12th Century nave and a Norman south doorway The quality of the window tracery and the carved heads at the foot of the arch mouldings is of a high standard for such a remote building. The font has an octagonal 15th Century bowl and a 19th Century cover. The church was restored in 1880 and re-roofed in 1886. Fairford-born John Keble - one time curate of this and other local churches - became a founding member of the Oxford Movement, author of many hymns and a major influence on the Church of England. A fund in his memory founded Keble College, Oxford.
The clapper bridge crossing the Leach is called 'Keble's Bridge'. In daffodil season, the walk across the bridge and along the path to the church perfectly exemplifies the quintessential Cotswold idyll.